Christianity's Jewish Origins Rediscovered: The Roles of Comparison in Early Modern Ecclesiastical Scholarship

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Abstract

The history of early Christianity began in comparison: comparison of Christian practices with what was known about the practices of ancient Roman priests, and with what was known-or thought to be known-about the practices of Jews in the Second Temple. These comparisons helped to inspire the larger enterprise of comparative study of religion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. But they also helped to inspire ecclesiastical historians to look directly and seriously at the Jewish world in which Jesus lived and worked. As knowledge of rabbinical Judaism grew, comparison also led to a growing awareness that Christianity grew from Jewish roots, and that it had incorporated into its core practices many elements of Jewish worship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-42
Number of pages30
JournalErudition and the Republic of Letters
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Keywords

  • Christian Hebraism
  • Last Supper
  • Mishnah
  • Passover
  • antiquarianism
  • comparative study of religion

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